Jamie McMurray is an American stock car racing driver, who participated in more than 700 NASCAR races since his debut in 1999. He is most known because of victory in his only second Sprint Cup start, in 2002 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He scored sixteen victories in all three NASCAR national series, including Daytona 500 in 2010.
McMurray is also a regular competitor at 24 hours of Daytona, with overall victory in 2015, so he is one of just three drivers who won both Daytona 500 and 24h of Daytona.
NASCAR debut for McMurray in 1999
James Christopher McMurray was born on June 3, 1976, in Joplin, Missouri. After a successful career in karting racing, McMurray debuted in NASCAR Truck Series in 1999, participating in five races in the #26 Ford of Mittler Brothers. His best result was 11th place in Las Vegas.
In 2000, Jamie's schedule was expanded to sixteen races, ten in the #26 Ford and six more in the #41 Dodge of Mike Farris. McMurray scored two poles with Dodge and finished best in third place at Indianapolis Raceway Park. At the end of the season, Jamie debuted in the NASCAR Busch Series, driving the #71 Ford of Steve Plattenberger.
First full season in the Busch Series
In 2001 season, McMurray competed full season in the Busch Series, driving #27 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Brewco Motorsports. He reached 10th place three times to finish 16th in the final standings.
Maiden NASCAR victory in the second Cup Series start
McMurray remained in the #27 car for 2002 Busch Series season, but also stepped in the #40 Dodge of Chip Ganassi Racing in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, as a replacement for injured Sterling Marlin. McMurray had a Winston Cup debut at Talladega Superspeedway on October 6, finishing 26th. A week later, in the UAW-GM Quality 500 race, at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, he took sensational maiden Cup Series victory, after leading 96 of 334 laps.
Three NASCAR wins in three weeks
It was a dreamy October for Jamie, as he scored his first Busch Series victory on October 26 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He stole the victory from Michael Waltrip, who led 114 of 200 laps. A week later, at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, Jamie scored his second Busch Series victory. McMurray finished the season sixth in the Busch Series standings.
McMurray was the 2003 Rookie of the Year
In 2003, McMurray became the Winston Cup Series regular driver in the #42 Chip Ganassi's Dodge. With five Top 5 finishes, Jamie finished 13th overall in the final classification and won the Rookie of the Year award. During 2003, McMurray continued to drive part-time in the Busch Series, scoring two victories in the Phoenix Racing's #1 Dodge, both wins at Rockingham.
11th place as the best season's result in a career
The North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham became Jamie's favorite track, as he won one more time in 2004, driving #30 Braun Racing's Dodge. McMurrray scored two more wins in 2004 Busch Series season, at Phoenix International Raceway with Chip Ganassi's Dodge and at Darlington Raceway with Rusty Wallace's Dodge. In 2004, Jamie participated in three Truck Series races, winning the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway.
In the 2004 Winston Cup season, McMurray finished nine times among top 5 drivers, but without victories. He was closest to win in June at Sonoma, finishing second behind Jeff Gordon. At the end of the season, Jamie was classified 11th in the Winston Cup Series standings, what remained his career-best result.
Daytona 24h debut in 2005
The next year, in 2005, McMurray finished 12th in the final classification, with four Top 5 finishes, including second place in the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and second place in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. In February 2005, McMurray participated for the first time in the 24 hours of Daytona, partnering Stefan Johansson and Cort Wagner in the #02 Riley-Lexus of Chip Ganassi Racing. They finished fourth overall.
In 2006, McMurray joined Rouch Racing
For 2006 season, McMurray signed for Roush Racing, to drive the #26 Ford. The season was disappointing for Jamie, as he finished only 26th in the points. His best result was second place at Dover International Speedway and it was one of just three Top 5 results.
Closest victory in Daytona's history
The season 2007 was better, as Jamie finally scored his second Cup victory, in the Pepsi 400 race at Daytona International Speedway. The margin of a victory was 0.005 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch, which was the closest finish in a history of Daytona race track. Jamie collected nine Top 10 finishes and he was 17th in the final standings.
Return to Chip Ganassi Racing in 2010
McMurray spent two more seasons driving the #26 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. In 2008, he finished 16th in the points while in 2009, he was 22nd in the final classification. On November 1, McMurray increased the number of Cup Series wins to three, after winning the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega.
Rouch released McMurray at the end of 2009 season due to NASCAR's four team limit. Jamie talked with his former boss Chip Ganassi and returned to the team, now renamed to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, after a merger with Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Before the NASCAR season started, McMurray participated in the 24 hours of Daytona, partnering Scott Dixon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Dario Franchitti in the #02 CGR's Riley-BMW. They didn't finish the race.
Daytona 500 victory in the first race with #1 Chevrolet
Jamie's car in 2010 Nextel Cup season was the #1 Chevrolet and he had the best season-opening in a career, winning Daytona 500. He led for only two laps, passing Kevin Harvick with two laps to go. Later in the season, Jamie finished in the second place three times, before he won another race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. It was a victory in the Brickyard 400, which made him one of only three drivers to win the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same year (the other two were Jimmie Johnson and Dale Jarrett). Jamie didn't enter the Chase, but he won one more race, the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Three Cup wins in one season
It was his career-best Cup season with three wins. He added one more victory in the Nationwide Series, at Atlanta Motor Speedway with JR Motorsports' #88 Chevrolet. It was his eighth Busch/Nationwide Series win in a career.
In January 2011, McMurray signed a multi-year extension with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. The season again started with Daytona 24-hour race. The #02 CGR car finished second overall, with the same crew as the year before - McMurray/Dixon/Montoya/Franchitti.
At Daytona 500, the season-opening race of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Jamie finished 18th. Later in the season, his best result was fourth place at Brickyard 400 and he finished 27th in the points.
One more year with the same schedule
The season 2012 wasn't much better for McMurray, as he crashed in the Daytona 500 and his best result was seventh place in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Jamie finished 21st in the points. Except NASCAR, he again participated in the Rolex 24at Daytona, sharing the car with Dixon, Franchitti and Montoya. They finished fourth.
Bad start of the season and seventh Cup victory
The start of the season 2013 was disastrous, as McMurray retired at 24h of Daytona and crashed at Daytona 500. Later in the season, he had a few strong results, including second place at Kentucky and the victory in the non-points Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. On October 20, at Talladega, Jamie held off Dale Earnhardt Jr and scored his seventh Cup victory in a career. At the end of the season, McMurray was 15th in the points.
All-Star Race victory in 2014
In 2014, after one more retirement in the Daytona 24-hour race, the highlight of the season was Jamie's victory in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 17. In June, Jamie won the pole for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, his tenth pole in a career. In the race, he finished fourth. His best result in 2014 was the third place in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte. Jamie was classified 18th in the final Sprint Cup standings.
Jamie repeated what AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti did
The season 2015 started with an overall victory at Rolex 24 at Daytona. The winning drivers in the #02 Riley-Ford for Chip Ganassi's with Felix Sabates team were McMurray, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Kyle Larson. McMurray became one of three drivers to win both Daytona 500 and 24h of Daytona. The other two are A. J. Foyt and Mario Andretti.
In the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season, Jamie's best results were two runner-up finishes at Phoenix International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway. In total, he scored ten Top 10 finishes and classified 13th in the final classification.
In 2016, McMurray is still with Chip Ganassi Racing
In 2016, Jamie has a similar schedule, with Daytona 24h participation in the Chip Ganassi Racing's Riley-Ford prototype and full NASCAR Sprint Cup season in the CGR #1 Chevrolet. In the 24 hours of Daytona, the #02 crew finished 13th overall.
In the personal life, Jamie is married to Christy since 2009. With two children, they live on Lake Norman in Mooresville, North Carolina. Jamies has an active charity organisation, the Jamie McMurray Foundation, which had donated a big amount of money to Autism speaks and other autism research charities.